By Michael M . . . When SORNA (Sex Offender Registration Notification Act, aka Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006) required the states to establish comprehensive minimum standards for their state sex offender registries, it created an unfunded mandate that left many states scrambling to comply or lose Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funding from the federal government. Many states did not have sufficient funds earmarked for the creation of a whole new bureaucracy, especially one that depends so heavily on expensive information technology, so they outsourced it.
One of the big beneficiaries of that outsourcing decision was a company called Watch Systems LLC. Watch Systems provides a turn-key solution called the Offender Watch Network to over 3500 government agencies, including sheriffs’ offices, police departments, attorney generals’ offices, US Attorneys, federal and state probation offices, the Department of Corrections, Indian tribes, and the US Marshals’ Service. In fact, they claim that 61% of the nation’s sex offenders are in their database, which resides on their privately owned hosted servers. Their “supplemental” products include mobile sex offender mapping applications, a postal sex offender notification mailing service, and a robo-caller to verify sex offender phone numbers. In addition to their sex offender registry products, Watch Systems also maintains and markets other registries for arsonists, deadly weapon offenders, metal thieves, gang members, and animal abusers.
That was an excellent article; eye-opening.
Former sex offenders are a commodity, a cash crop that brings in big profits for private companies that provide monitoring, counseling, GPS tracking, polygraph testing, and civil committment services to or on behalf of government. The SO services industry has lobbyists pushing for laws and policies that will improve their bottom line, all at the expense of existing and new registrants. Any law that increases the number of registrants is money in their pocket.
I had no idea the industry and the money was so big. It shows us what we’re up against when seeking any kind of reform that could reduce the numbers of registrants and/or improve our lot by reducing restrictions and mandated registration fees plus counseling, testing, and tracking that we are forced to pay for. That kind of reform will eat into the SO services industry profits, so they’ll certainly lobby against it.
I sincerely hope that the children of all of the people who profit from the SO services industry, whether monetarily or in political capital, wind up on a sex offender registry for life.
Yeah, but even plutonium has a half life. At some point it becomes non radioactive lead. So many years after the offense we have to demonstrate to the judges the danger has diminished. Even among dangerous commodities, we are classed as worst of the worst,